Boston Children’s Chorus

2-BostonChildrensChorus

Boston Children’s Chorus

Boston Children’s Chorus Inc.
112 Shawmut Avenue
Suite 5B
Boston, MA 2118
Phone: 617.778-2242
Fax: 617.778.2248
E-Mail: dhowse@bostonchildrenschorus.org
URL: www.bostonchildrenschorus.org

Focus: Music

Annual Number Participating: 500

Ages: Pre-K, Elementary, Middle School, High School

Annual Budget: $2,100,000.00

Partners: First Parish Church in Dorchester; Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; New England Conservatory; South Boston Boys & Girls Club; West End House Boys & Girls Club

Funders: Barr Foundation; Linde Family Foundation; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Massachusetts Cultural Council; Surdna Foundation; The Boston Foundation

When a social worker without a background in music forms a children’s chorus, you might suspect that there’s another agenda afoot. Such was the case when Boston civic leader Hubie Jones founded the Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) in 2003. He saw the chorus not only as a vehicle for music education, but also as “a catalyst for social change.”

The BCC recruits a highly diverse group of young people from across Greater Boston, where many neighborhoods and schools remain heavily polarized. Participants’ common love of music helps to dissolve racial, socioeconomic, and religious barriers among them.

“Music is a language that almost everyone speaks,” explains BCC Executive Director David Howse. “And, when you sing together, the barriers that might otherwise prevent people from coming together are diminished.”

The chorus performs about 40 concerts a year in the Boston area and across the United States, presenting an eclectic repertoire that ranges from motets to Mozart to Motown. Along with performing on numerous occasions with the Boston Pops, for five years, the chorus produced a nationally syndicated Martin Luther King Celebration concert. BCC has also appeared on NPR’s From the Top, which showcases talented young classical musicians.

The BCC also tours internationally. In recent years, their itinerary has included performances in Southeast Asia, Jordan, Mexico, Japan, and Great Britain. In keeping with the chorus’s commitment to cultural diplomacy, when on tour, choristers live with host families and perform community-service projects in the host nations.

The BCC could not have earned its “ambassadors of harmony” moniker without a strong commitment to artistic excellence. The chorus actually comprises 12 choirs, organized by age and skill level, which meet at five locations for after-school rehearsals. Participants pursue a rigorous, sequential curriculum that incorporates music theory, sight-reading and ear-training techniques, as well as solo performance experiences. The goal is not only to help choristers achieve musical proficiency, but also to instill discipline, self-confidence, empathy, and the joy of collaboration.

After participating in BCC, many choristers continue on paths that have made Founder Hubie Jones proud. Of particular distinction, during the chorus’s 10 years of existence, all of its seniors have graduated from high school and been accepted into college — or are on track to do so, while pursuing other post-secondary programs.

When you are exposed to so many cultures and values, you, in turn, become a more socially enlightened person. When you are only around the same people, you can’t see past what you know.

Branden, age 17 Member, Boston Children's Chorus